The City Council approves reparations for Jon Burge torture victims
Jackie Wilson (center), one of Burge’s victims, after his case was dropped this year Photo: Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune

May 6, 2015

The South Side police commander had been convicted five years earlier of lying in court about leading a ring of cops who tortured confessions from dozens of detainees. Now, with the City Council voting unanimously to, in the words of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “bring this dark chapter of Chicago’s history to a close,” something akin to justice was served. The $5.5 million couldn’t buy back time lost to wrongful imprisonment or undo the trauma, but it did, as activist Prexy Nesbitt told the Guardian, send “a message to the world … that we’re not going to take this brutal treatment of our citizens anymore.”